My Name is Sarah and I have trained Krav Maga for three years.
My name is Sarah, a 34-years-old sports freak from Germany, living in London for four years.
Since I moved here, I have tried multiple sports classes to find my “new thing” in London, mainly around martial arts, but also it always needed to make you sweat like there is no tomorrow.
I discovered Krav Maga by opportunity, only knowing the basic principle of it back then. An external Krav Maga club offered lessons in my gym and I was very curious about it when I saw the students practising. I had done kickboxing and boxing before, but this looked different. It looked like proper fighting, but also much like a full-on workout as well. My interest was sparked! It took me a few attempts to finally join as I was a little terrified whenever I saw the Krav Maga students arrive, dressed up all in black, some guys a hell of a unit, with their colourful belts, and all their equipment. But I overcame this hesitation – and this turned out to be one of the best decisions ever. From class one on I was fascinated by Krav Maga and implemented it in my weekly sports routine, soon joining around three classes per week or even more. I wanted to learn the basics as fast as possible so I could get into the more complex techniques soon. As it seemed like there is so much to learn, so many new and exciting elements besides the essentials of for example kickboxing. For me it combined the sweaty, full-body workout I always need throughout the week with elements that challenge your mind and biomechanics. Practising kicking and punching, defence movements, reaction drills, lying on the ground and defending yourself, movement sequences to get out of unpleasant situations such as being choked or hugged by a stranger from behind, aaaand a lot more – you will feel each muscle, but it feels great! For your mood as well. It is a great feeling to learn something new in sports practice and to keep on practising it until you absolutely nail it.
What I really like about Krav Maga
I really like Krav Maga because it not only combines parts from multiple martial arts with super-efficient self-defence tactics, but also because it teaches you so much about standing up for yourself and sharpening your awareness for difficult situations you may find yourself in, especially in a big wild city like London. I personally never experienced anything dangerous here yet (touch wood) but heard quite many scary stories of muggings and stabbings.
You learn very simple but very effective practices to properly fight standing or on the ground. Having pre-experience in martial arts was a benefit for me and I personally very much enjoy building up on these skills and to learn how to tweak them in a non-competitive context. Plus a totally new and unique element that comes with Krav: Weapon defences – knives, sticks and guns. Never thought about bringing this into my workout habit, but so useful to learn thinking about real-life scenarios.
What I personally experienced as well is that Krav Maga empowers you as a woman. You gain more self-confidence and inner and outer strength, your mind starting to be in the mode of “I know when and how I can actively defend myself against any uncomfortable approaches”.
Krav is simply exciting and beautiful at the same time, with all its various techniques for realistic scenarios, sneaky movements that make it unique to traditional martial arts, diversified training and strengthening of your mindset. And also what I never expected it to be: It is a lot of fun learning all these things! Especially with such a cool community of Krav aficionados I train with and who motivate each other.
My advice on getting started with Krav Maga
My advice for you if you are interested in learning self-defence: Don’t get scared off by the “fighting” energy and people who appear to be bigger and stronger than you. We might train in a unique and sometimes loud way, but its all play and learn. And a special advice for women: Don’t ever think you don’t stand a chance against the guys and big boys – you will learn some techniques that will surprise you in how effective they are against ANYONE.